In My Hands Today

Grand Forks: A History of American Dining in 128 Reviews – Marilyn Hagerty

A legendary 86-year-old food critic brings together a collection of the best down-home, no-nonsense restaurant reviews-from Red Lobster to Le Bernadin-culled from her fifty year career

Writing for her local North Dakota newspaper, the Grand Forks Herald since 1957, Marilyn Hagerty went from obscurity to overnight sensation in 2012 when her earnest, admiring review of a local Olive Garden went viral. Among the denizens of the food world-obsessive gastronomes who celebrate Alice Waters and Michael Pollan, revere all things artisanal, and have made kale salad a staple on upscale urban menus-Hagerty’s review ignited a fiery debate over the state of American culture. Anthony Bourdain defended Hagerty as an authentic voice of the larger American culture-one that is not dictated by the biases of the food snobbery that define the coasts.

In this refreshing, unpretentious collection that includes more than 200 reviews culled from a voluminous archive spanning over fifty years, Hagerty reveals how most Americans experience the pleasure of eating out. Bourdain hails Grand Forks as, “a history of American dining-in the vast spaces between the jaded palates and professional snarkologists of the privileged coasts-as told by one hard working small city journalist. . . . We watch American dining change over time, in baby steps. Traditional regional Scandinavian giving way to big chains, first iterations of sushi, early efforts at hipster chic. Part Fargo, part Lake Woebegone. It’s the antidote to snark. This book kills cynics dead.”

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In My Hands Today…

The Essential Marathi Cookbook – Kaumudi Marathe

The Essential Marathi Cookbook, a modern, easy-to-use introduction to several Marathi sub-cuisines, travels across the regions and religions of Maharashtra to bring out the most authentic and appetising recipes from the state. Journalist and chef Kaumudi Marathe presents a varied and nuanced selection ranging from the delectable entrees long associated with Maharashtra to appetising and unusual side dishes, and a plethora of desserts, as well as lesser-known but equally tantalising family and regional specialities which have never before appeared in an English-language cookbook.

The comprehensive introduction describes Marathi cooking basics, ingredients and techniques, and also explains the special spices used in Marathi kitchens along with the methods for their best use in seasonings. Packed with personal anecdotes and food memories from the author and other contributors to the book, The Essential Marathi Cookbook is the definite guide to Marathi food and customs.

Recipes include Pithla-Bath (zesty gram flour sauce with hot rice), Shiryachi Poli (sweet semolina-stuffed bread), Ambyacha Loncha (green mango-mustard pickle), Spicy Kolhapuri Mutton, Suranachi Koshimbir (elephant’s foot yam salad), Kelphulachi Bhaji (banana blossom stir-fry), Pach Dalichi Amti (five lentil stew), Mugache Kadhan (Konkan lentil-coconut pudding), Bol Marie (East Indian coconut pie), Pathare Prabhu Baked Karanjis (Coconut crescents), Kharvas (first-milk custard), Khudi (sauteed East Indian style chicken), Ukad Shengule (sorghum pasta), Kaumudi’s Grandmother’s Lettuce Salad.

In My Hands Today…

The Hundred Foot Journey – Richard C. Morais

The Hundred Foot Journey is the story of Hassan Haji, a boy from Mumbai who embarks, along with his boisterous family, a picaresque journey from London and then across Europe, before they ultimately open a restaurant opposite a famous chef, Madame Mallory, in the remote French village of Lumière. A culinary war ensues, pitting Hassan’s Mumbai-toughened father against the imper ious Michelin-starred corden bleu, until Madame Mallory realises that Hassan is a cook with a natural talents far superior to her own.

Full of eccentric characters, hilarious cultural mishaps, vivid settings and delicious meals described in rich, sensuous detail, Hassan’s charming account lays bare the inner workings of the elite world of French haute cuisine, and provides us with an affirming and poignant coming-of-age tale